This time of the year always seems to have it's clichés in terms of food. The usual gingerbread, pumpkin and cookies that are served at dinner parties across the world. While I absolutely love those goods as well (and you most likely will see some featured on here this month) I usually like to serve my guests a little something unexpected.
These pear dumplings are absolutely perfect for impressing dinner guests and they are actually quite easy to make. The pears are poached in a white wine, vanilla bean, sugar and cinnamon stick concoction and then allowed to chill overnight. The next day wrap them in some pate brisee and voila! You have yourself an amazing dessert that your guests are sure to enjoy.
Makes 8 small or 5 large dumplings
For The Poached Pears
2 bottles of dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus the peel of 2 lemons
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeded
5 large or 8 small pears, peeled
For The Crust
For The Finishing
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg beaten, with 2 teaspoons water to glaze
Fine Sanding Sugar
1.Poach the pears; Combine white wine, lemon juice and peel, granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean and seeds in medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pears, lowering the heat and cook for 20-30 minutes, until pears are tender. If necessary, turn the pears very gently by rotating the stems with your fingertips so that they cook evenly. Remove the pears to a bowl, bring the poaching liquid to a rapid boil, and reduce by half. Pour the syrup over the pears and refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Assemble to the dumplings; Roll out the pastry to a thickness of no more than 1/8 inch. Using a sharp knife cut dough into triangles (using a pear at your guide for size) Cut as many leaf shapes as possible from the pastry scraps and use the back of a paring knife to make vein markings. Keep the pastry chilled on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to use.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Remove the pears from poaching syrup and pat dry. Reduce the syrup to half for serving. Using a parisian scoop, core each piece of fruit carefully, starting from the bottom to within 3/4 inch of the top. Take care to leave the stem intact. Fill each fruit with some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and dot with the butter. Invert each pear onto the center of the triangle of pastry. Lightly brush edges with the egg wash. Bring the edges to the pastry together and pinch to seal. Garnish the dumplings as desired by pasting the leaves on with egg wash. Lightly brush each dumpling with the egg wash and if desired sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Place the dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill until ready to bake.
4. Cover stems with foil. Bake in upper third of oven for 30-35 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool until warm and serve each dumpling with the reduced syrup.
Source: Martha Bakes